Monthly Archives: June 2016

Tips to Start a Massage Therapy Business

images-3In the underlying days, you will treat individuals with a wide range of back rubs; nonetheless, as your business develops, it is prudent that you take up a specialization to streamline your business.

Massage therapy business has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. Today, it is divided into various specializations like oncology massage, facial massage, chair massage, full-body massage, sports massage, Shiatsu, Thai massage, hot stone massage, deep tissue massage, reflexology, Swedish massage, aroma therapy, Balinese massage, etc. Many massage therapists work in collaboration with chiropractors, acupuncturists, naturopaths, dentists, yoga gurus, etc., to provide help to their clients. This is one of the most lucrative businesses which require limited amount of startup investment.

Take Courses

It is important that you take courses in professional massage therapy before starting to practice as a therapist. There are many schools which offer good courses. If you are studying or working somewhere and are unable to attend the program, check out the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) website for online courses. Acquiring a certification is a must as it will help establish your credibility.

Get Experience
Merely getting a certification is not enough to start a business. You must gain hands-on experience in the field. After finishing your course, it is advisable that you work as an intern at a massage therapy center to learn about the ‘tricks of the trade.’

Ensure that apart from getting practical knowledge about various massage therapies, you also learn about dealing with customers, revenue generation, marketing, conflict solving, billing, taxation, etc. Nothing quite works like on-the-job training.

Find a Mentor

This is one business where it is advisable to get a mentor from a similar field to guide you. Find someone who inspires you through the success he/she has achieved in the massage business. Introduce yourself to that person, and tell him/her that you want to learn under his/her able guidance. Finding a mentor is important as he/she will guide to take your startup venture in the right direction. Guidance from an experienced person can help you to take the right decisions at the right time.

Make a Business Plan

If you have worked with an established massage therapist, you will know about the nitty-gritty of the business. Also, study how your competitors are conducting their business. It will not only tell you about the functioning of the venture, but also help you to make a good business plan.
If you are availing a commercial loan, you need a foolproof business plan to impress the authorities. Hence, make a plan giving details of your profit projection, vision, expansion, allocation of resources, pricing policy, etc. Ensure that the plan will act as a guide for the success of your business.

Understand Your Target Market

You should conduct a study of your client profile to understand the details of the demographics. You may be getting maximum number of younger clients who are females or baby boomers. It may so happen that your client composition may be dominated by clients who belong to the sports background. Having an understanding of your target market will help cater to them in a better way.

Formalities

Come up with an attractive name for your business. Register your business as ‘doing business as.’ You will have to submit the incorporation documents related to massage therapy business with your State. It is advisable that you hire an attorney to complete the process flawlessly. You will also have to open a business checking account and apply for an Employer Identification Number.
Check with your local, State, or Federal authorities for the licenses and permits that you will require to operate the business. Ensure you are abiding by all the tax and state laws pertaining to this business.

Arrange for Finance

If you are planning for a mobile massage therapy business, you may not require too much finance. However, if you are going to get a place of your own for conducting this business, you will have to avail a loan. As it will be a startup and you will not have much initial investment, it is advisable that you apply for an SBA loan.
You can also avail a commercial loan from banks, but you may be asked for a heavy down payment. One more option for sourcing finance is to avail a credit union loan. If nothing works for you, borrow from your family and friends or find a business partner.

Scout for a Place

If you are planning to find a location for your business, go for a place which will boost your business, give you great exposure, and will have a lot of foot traffic. If you think that buying a place will cost you too much, you can rent out a facility. Apart from this, you can also rent a place from another health care provider. Ensure that the place has a soothing and calming ambiance, and appears to be clean and tidy.
Don’t forget to add relaxing music and fragrant aromas to make the entire experience of massage a pleasant one. During the initial days of the business, when you will not have adequate funds to buy or rent a place, service clients from your home or offer to visit them at their place. This can help save a lot of money.

Get Insurance

It is highly recommended that you consult a professional insurance agent to understand about your insurance needs. You will have to avail for coverage of commercial vehicle and property damage. You may require to obtain workers’ compensation insurance, health insurance, and dental insurance for your employees. If you are looking for cost-effective solutions, avail the small business health insurance.

Arrange for Supplies

This is one business which will require a lot of investment in the supplies like massage tables and chairs, linens, pillows and supports, stools, etc. You will also need skin care products like massage oils, creams, etc. As people may be allergic to certain ingredients in your skin care products, ensure that you know about them before starting the massage.

Use high-quality products to avoid any kind of problems to the clients. Use disposable gloves, and disinfect the massage equipment and furniture from time to time to avoid any kind of skin rash or reaction.

Advertising and Marketing

Invest a good amount of money in advertising and marketing. Have online banners on various websites. Create a website giving details of all your services and packages. Optimize the website for the right key words. Get your clients to write testimonials for you, and put them up on the website. Show photos of the facility as they will impress prospective clients.

Give ads in newspapers and magazines, but focus more on advertorials and giving interviews in the local newspaper as an expert in massage therapy; it will help garner a good response. Also, sponsor the local community programs and offer trial massages to promote your business. Try to make focused efforts so that you can optimally utilize your advertising and marketing revenues.

Network

This business is heavily dependent on word-of-mouth marketing. Hence, ensure that you meet customer expectations all the time. This will make them give your referrals to their family and friends. Encourage your clients to ‘spread the word’ about your business. Also, network with other similar businessmen and women in your community. You can form alliances for a joint venture and benefit out of this arrangement. As they will benefit from your expertise, you will reap the advantages of their reputation and credibility.

Promote Your Business

You will face tough competition from already-established massage therapists. Hence, apart from customer satisfaction, you will also have to implement innovative schemes for attracting new clients and retaining the existing ones. You can offer loyalty discounts, free massage trials, and cost benefits on referral schemes. You can also offer short free workshops on facial self-massage to your clients.
You can also have a ‘guarantee satisfaction’ scheme where you may redo the massage if he/she does not like it or return his/her money back. Although few people will act difficult, this scheme will establish your credibility as a good massage therapist. This will help widen your customer base.

Hire People

When you expand your business, it will become impossible for you to look after all your clients on your own. Hence, at that time, you should hire other massage therapists to help you out. Whether you hire trainees or experienced ones, you will have to retrain them according to your method of offering massage.
This is essential because the clients may be used to getting a certain type of massage from you which they will also expect from other people you hire. If the standards or quality of service are not met, they will move on to your competitors.

Remember that some women are apprehensive to get a massage from a male assistant; hence, hire employees of both sexes. Also, ensure that your charges are reasonable, and not overly extravagant. Take responsibility as the head of the business, and be accountable for its growth and success. Remember, providing quality service, customer satisfaction, and value for money is the key to success.

Ways to Start Your Own Computer Repair Business

There are a couple of critical focuses to consider before beginning a PC repair business. You should set the right cost for your administration. Time is cash, and you will presumably charge by the hour. You should

distinguish your customers by choosing whether you need to offer your administrations to organizations or to private people! Next, you should discover a specialty, so you can work in a specific division of the market. You may likewise need to settle on a choice to stop your normal everyday employment to have the capacity to maintain your business full time. On the off chance that you don’t have any foundation in the field of fund, you may even need to utilize a bookkeeper to record your exchanges.

If you have pondered over and decided on the above mentioned points, you are well on your way towards becoming a businessman. However, successfully establishing and running a computer repair business will require you to take care of a number of other significant details too. Presented below are a few tips that can help you in doing this.

Tips on Starting a Computer Repair Business

1) Market Your Business Well
To establish a good customer base, you should market your business well. This can be done by sending mails or by distributing flyers. You can also promote it over the Internet, through SEO (search engine optimization) or by sending emails.

2) Highlight Your Technical Proficiency
Highlight the credentials of technicians working under you, so that clients are assured that the ‘techies can do their job well. Also make sure that their technical skills are up-to-date. You should train your workers well, and also encourage them to get certifications, such as the CompTIA A+. Before interviewing candidates for a job in your organization, make them fill an application form in which they need to list their technology-related skills, so that you know what questions to ask them in order to evaluate their technical proficiency.

3) Hire Employees With Good People Skills
In a computer repair business, there will be a direct interaction between your employees and clients. If the people working under you are able to establish a good rapport with your clientele, it will significantly help boost your business. Hence, you must try and hire employees who have good social skills, and even train them to improve at it.

4) Gain the Client’s Trust
To gain the trust of your clients, first and foremost, you will need to be able to do a good and transparent repair job. Many computers have the user’s Social Security Number, credit card numbers, and other sensitive and private information stored in them. It will be your job to assure them that their data will be safe with you.

5) Work From Home
You can run your business from home itself. For example, your garage could be used as your office cum workplace. This will help you save money, as you won’t have to lease space for your business. With the question of workspace out of the way, all you need to start a business are few desktop computers, and some cabinets or shelves to store all the tools and instruments that you’ll require for your repair work.

6) Diagnostic Fees and Pricing
You can charge a diagnostics fee to test the hardware and software of your client’s computer. As an act of good faith, you can refund the diagnostics fee if you are unable to figure out the problem. After you have determined what the issue is, you can give a written estimate, so that you and your client can agree on the final cost.

7) Repair Over the Internet
If the problem is purely software-related, you can repair your client’s computer by remote access over the Internet. This can be achieved by connecting to the client’s computer online, and controlling it remotely, while the client watches you repair it.

8) Offer On-site Repair Facility
You can provide an on-site computer repair service. This will probably help in increasing your business, as many people would prefer a computer repair service that is provided to them at home, rather than having to go through the trouble of disconnecting and bring their computers to your repair shop.

9) Buy a Franchisee
You will be competing with the likes of Best Buy’s Geek Squad, and big companies such as RadioShack and CompUSA. However, you will have an advantage over these national stores, because you will be focusing at the local level. Some established businesses outsource their PC repair services and maintenance to local companies, while others let you but a franchise of theirs. These are a good ways to start a business, as marketing would become much easier when working under the umbrella of an established and well-known brand name. Among the good companies offering their franchises are Fast-teks and Computer Troubleshooters. You can also buy computer parts from an online retailer such as Newegg, or an auction site such as eBay.

10) Become a Data Doctor
One of the common occurrences in the world of personal computers is hard disk crashes. People usually store a ton of their important data on their computers, without thinking twice or considering backing it up, until the storage device stops working. So, you can consider becoming a drive saver or a data doctor who can recover clients’ data when their hard disk crashes.

Thus, you can go ahead and start you own computer repair business by keeping in mind all the important points mentioned in this article. If you play all the cards right, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to run your business successfully.

Successful Business Intelligence Strategy Tips

Business knowledge, as such, is data gathered by a business so as to expand its comprehension of itself. Somewhat odd? Why might a business need to comprehend itself? Indeed, the business needs to comprehend itself, so that the business can perform better and can utilize its assets ideally.

So how does a business go about acquainting itself with itself? It generates a warehouse of information regarding its performance and policies in the past. This helps the business to perform better in the future. Like, in case of a certain market shift, the company can refer to its database and find out how it performed, the last time, a similar shift occurred. This may provide added support for the planning.

OLAP
Online Analytical Processing basically stores all the information about the company. Then, it analyzes it and when a certain query is fed in to it, it provides as accurate an answer as possible. It can provide pure facts about the past, and can make plausible predictions about the future. OLAP has been of massive help to organizations in times of sudden market inflations. It has also helped many organizations prepare for times of recession to a certain extent. The vital aspects of OLAP are, data mining, text mining, analytics and predictive analytics.

Business Performance Management
BPM is another extremely important strategy that almost all companies follow for BIS. BPM consists of a basic module. All the activities and policies of the company are based on this module. It is the foundation of the business framework and as such it is also like the pillar of the business practices. BPM of the business is often responsible for a company’s reputation. This is because, the BPM, ordinarily, remains constant for fairly long periods of time. It also helps the employees have a certain level of confidence and feeling of stability.

Benchmarking
In this system, the cost, cycle time, productivity, or quality of a specific process or method is compared to that of another organization that is similar in industry and universally accepted as best practice standard. Like, any IT company would, probably, benchmark Microsoft. In case the disparity of scale is too high, proportional ratings can be used. It is more like having an ambition to perform like a certain “big brother” of the industry. In order to achieve that, you need to have certain practices that need to match it as well. Benchmarking is a concept that individuals use in all walks of life. Not a very difficult concept to follow, right?

Organizations have to basically depend on their own resources in order to sustain market changes and internal instabilities, if any. The main corporate social responsibility of any organization is employee compensation. As such, it is essential to have sustainable and consistent growth, so that all the employees stay motivated enough to help any strategy of the organization to work well and to its capacity’s fullest!

Tips to Mind Your Own Business

Disapproving of your business accompanies a ton of humbleness and regard for others and again not everybody does that. Along these lines, how about we learn together how to tend to our very own concerns and quit jabbing our nose all over the place.

Ever come across people who would tell you about their salaries before they wave a hello and smile, or ever met an unmarried girl advising you, when to have babies? I have, and trust me, there is nothing more annoying than being polite and smiling back to these people, while suppressing a growl and holding your hands away from their cheek. Ask me at such a moment ‘how to mind your own business’ and I may not reply with words and may use some other means.

All my growing years, I have come across various people who lack the quality of humbleness. And I have noted that these people are somehow obsessed with boasting and also hint low self-esteem. Otherwise, why do you need to be so loud when making a point so that the whole of the room notices you and not just the person you are talking to. Or why do you need to say sentences like, ‘why are you wearing this dress’ or ‘I got a job, pays big bucks, blah blah’, when all the other person is doing is playing friends with you.

As I said, minding your own business needs a lot of humbleness, politeness and respect for the other human being. It needs an understanding on your part, that the other person is an individual with his particular set of choices, and he/she is free to follow his/her choices. You need to understand that you are not always right and playing Miss Know-It-All or Mr. Know-It-All will take you nowhere and will in fact, take the other people away from you. So, the mantra is “Live and Let Live”. If you think you are the goddess of fashion or a finance guru, keep it to yourself, because you know what, the world doesn’t care and nobody has the time to listen to you bragging and boasting. Also, you may not always find a humble listener. So, beware of witty comebacks before you open your mouth. Don’t you remember the best ever mind your own business saying ‘do not do to others what you would not like to be done to you’.

Personal Advice and Agony Aunts

Advice always sounds good from people who have been there and done that. Like our parents and teachers whom we sadly (and most often) choose to ignore. But taking advice from someone who assumes he knows it all, is so irritating. Take for example the agony aunts (and uncles), you will find many of them who have taken it upon themselves to solve others’ problems. Mind you, helping when asked to is good, but being nosy and advising when not asked to is bad. I have personally come across people who were repelled to know that I am married, and by repelled I mean, they practically flew back a few feet from where they were standing and their eyes popped out. And they were louder than a train’s horn when they said ‘What! You are married!’. And they just kept moving their head sideways, even when I explained I am not that young and I married by my wish. To add to it, they will request you to not have babies as of now. Wow, is that reasonable? And I think I need not explain how repelled I am from such people. So, it is important that people understand where to draw a line when it comes to personal lives. And secondly, bring down that volume man!

Professional and Career Advice

Some people are obsessed with being on top. Their obsession is of the type, if you can’t defeat everyone else, just kill them all, so there’s no one left for the first position other than you. These people are again clear indicators of low self-esteem and materialistic love. There are many people one comes across, who will tell how the profession they chose, or the course they did is the best thing to do. And to top it all, they will insist on how you are wasting your time in whatever you are doing and do what they did. These are the people who will tell you their salary and ask yours first thing they see you (may even roll eyes after listening to yours and say ‘Man! what happened to you, you were such a star in college…blah blah blah’). A person’s profession is his personal choice and no one is allowed to comment on it and when it comes to salaries, ‘Humbleness’ with a little ‘Politeness’ and ‘Decency’ is what’s needed. It is good to not have such people in your life and it is even better not to become such a person in your life. Trust me nobody wants to know that if you wear only branded clothes or visit a particular posh restaurant or how everybody you know is a big-shot and owns a bank. Bring it down, whatever that is you are doing, wherever you are standing, because when this life is over, again you will have nothing.

Minding Business at Work

Most people tend to forget the meaning of mind your own business at workplace when it is the golden rule to be followed. How other people work or what they are doing in their personal lives should not be your concern. People who forget to mind their own business at workplace, turn out to be average or bad performers. Because how are they supposed to work when they are busy criticizing someone else’s work or gossiping about their personal life? Minding business at work is in interest of everyone, even the organization. So, professionalism is the key here. Be professional, talk less or at least talk sensible and give your best to the organization that pays you.

Rights and Wrongs

Every person has his individual set of rights and wrongs. What may be right to someone may be totally wrong for someone else. It is all about personal choices and views. One has to understand that you can’t just thrust your opinion upon someone or criticize someone because he believes in something else. If you have an opinion, it is good, it shows that you have an independent personality, but it is totally what you think and nobody else’s concern. If the difference of opinion comes with someone you love, a little adjustment and some compromises can easily solve this problem. Moreover, respecting the other person’s opinion will always take a relationship a little further. But if it is with someone you don’t care about much, why bother? Who cares about what other people think when you are happy with yourself. Everybody’s philosophy of life is different and to live in harmony and not make enemies, one has to be modest and respect others. Knowing to mind one’s own business will always earn you respect and your own personal space in exchange. This ‘mind your own business’ quote says it the best – ‘ Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.’ ~ Thomas à Kempis, Imitation of Christ, c.1420

Tips for Minding Your Own Business

It is extremely bothersome and gets to you, if some unconcerned person wants to get your personal information, know the happenings in your life, just to satisfy his/her curiosity. Obviously the person questioned will be furious. But what if you may be a person doing the same to other people? And thankfully, if you have realized that, then here are some tips for people like you who want to give it a try to mind your own business:
✔ When you have the urge to poke your nose in someone else’s affair, ask yourself certain questions like, “Why should I know the development?” or “How does it concern me?”. If it is something related to you, then you can give it a thought, but if it is plain gossip, then the answer you should get from within is – “it shouldn’t concern you at all”.
✔ Another way to stop yourself from butting in is, move away from that place or those people. It’s a good distraction to walk away or else you’ll simply end up annoying someone. But yes, if it does relate to you, then you might have to break in and ask a question or two.
✔ Show disinterest in gossip and less interest in people around. Rather, focus on the work you have come for. How in the world is gossip or being curious and inquiring about others’ matters, or giving your advice when not asked for, going to be of any help to you? Instead, focus your positive energies on yourself, and not wasting your energy on unconcerned stuff.
✔ Before asking personal questions to an affected person (who must be wanting to be left alone), turn the tables and see how it feels. What if some day you are going through a turmoil in life and someone comes up to you with curious queries? Now, how would that feel? Won’t it get on your nerves? Won’t you want to lunge at the person and punch him/her hard? So, the point here is, think before you act.
✔ If you accidentally overhear some stuff that doesn’t concern you, don’t spread it around. It might be fun news for others, but you might be hurting someone. Act oblivious to some incidents or as if nothing was overheard and get back to your work.

‘Mind Your Own Business’ Sayings and Quotes
The following famous sayings, justify whatever has been said above:

  • “Sometimes it’s more important to be human, than to have good taste.” ~ Brecht
  • “God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.” ~ Author unknown, variation of an excerpt from “The Serenity Prayer” by Reinhold Neibuhr
  • “What a strange narrowness of mind now is that, to think the things we have not known are better than the things we have known.” ~ Samuel Johnson
  • “Just remember, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything and the wrong way is to keep trying to make everybody else do it the right way.” ~ M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter
  • “When you start treating people like people, they become people.” ~ Paul Vitale
  • “Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.” ~ Dandemis

So, can I sum up by saying that the answer to ‘minding your own business’ is “humility”. When a person is humble enough to accept that other people are eligible to have their own viewpoint, that person is minding his own business. In the modern world, every human is born free and is free to choose how he wants to live his life and that should be nobody else’s business unless that person is morally or socially wrong. After all, the world’s a democracy and that way, everyone is allowed to slap a person who has forgotten to mind your own business (our governments do not mind that). So, next time you comment on someone’s dressing sense or anything personal, look out for that hand.